Podcast Review 96: Edict Zero (Season 1)

Title: Edict Zero
Author: Jack Kincaid
Genre: Science Fiction
Released: 9 September 2010 – 19 May 2011
Located: iTunesAuthor’s Site
Formats Available: podcast only at this time
Rating: R for violence and language.

Way back in the early days of these reviews, around episode 28, I reviewed a horror novel by Jack Kincaid entitled Hoad’s Grim. It was a mixed bag early on, but by the end I was enjoying it. At least I enjoyed it enough that when several people suggested I listen to his new audio drama, I decided to give it a shot.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: EDICT ZERO was its original name, a codename assigned to a destination planet and the mission to reach it. New Earth, like Old Earth, is a planet of mostly water, but with even less land. It is a small world of five islands, each island a state in The Federation : the democratic entity otherwise known as ‘Edict Two’ which governs the bulk of humanity.Under the broad authority of its Attorney General, the civilian law enforcement utility Edict Three is a cluster of collaborating agencies such as the FIS — an initialism for Federal Investigative Services. Like other agencies in Edict Three, the structure of the FIS is an amalgam of the Old Earth law enforcement agency models deemed most effective by historians and E-2’s founding fathers.In response to the cataclysmic events on New Year’s Day of the year 2415, the FIS assembled a task force at their headquarters in Capitol City to find the responsible party, eliminate the danger posed to the public, and deliver justice for the victims.In acknowledgement of the severity of the threat and the accordingly devastating consequences which could arise from the slightest oversight, Assistant Director Alan Dockstader authorized a special unit of the task force to pursue unusual leads and the alternate outside-the-box theories those leads may support.”Edict Zero – FIS” focuses on this small team of special agents and their investigations, which will put them at odds with the highest authority of humankind:Edict One.

Whose secrets are getting harder to keep. (Stolen from the author’s site)

Production: The production on this audio-drama is lavish. Truly that is the only word I can think of to describe it. Seriously, I don’t believe a single second of any episode goes by that doesn’t have some sound effect competing for your attention. Oh, wait. Does that sound negative? I guess it does. And, I guess it should. A bit. Most of the time it isn’t a big deal, but occasionally, these effects do compete for my attention. Maybe it’s just my ADD. Also, the panning of actors voices when there doesn’t seem to be a reason occasionally disrupted the story for me. Still, the production is extremely well done, and it is hard for me to grade it harshly. The story has nine eps for this season. Nine LARGE eps. Each one weighs in at over an hour. So, when you decide to listen, set aside some serious time.

Grade: A-

Cast: The cast is top notch with names you’ll recognize from other podcasts. Phil Rossi, James Keller, Julie Hoverson and Tanja Milojevic to name just a few. For a full list check the author’s website. Each of these individuals does an outstanding job voicing their character and makes it believable and real.

Grade: A

Story: Edict Zero is a cop drama set in a future world with elements of the fantastic thrown in. Some of the episodes meander around a bit (well, okay, a lot) in an, I can only assume, effort to make the characters more realistic. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I found myself really disliking the meandering musings of one of the main detectives. Even less enjoyable to me were the rants of one of the hunted, Captain Socrates. I know that they are probably other listeners favorites, and that is the great thing about a story with a large cast. Everyone can choose which characters they choose to love and hate while still being able to enjoy the overall story. Again, if you can purposefully make me dislike a character, as an author, you’ve done your job. I’m not sure these characters are supposed to be disliked, but regardless, they didn’t do much for me.

Grade: B-

Verdict: I enjoyed Edict Zero. I don’t know if I enjoyed it as much as some, but it was a story that kept me interested through each large ep. With the production issues I mentioned, there were times when I found my mind wandering, but that might have been more my fault (and ADD) than the fault of the author. I liked Edict Zero, and if you like a cop dramas and/or futuristic psycho dramas, I’m sure you will too.

Disclosure: I mentioned I was listening to Edict Zero shortly after I began and was greeted by several friends on Twitter with much enthusiasm for the story. Shortly after, an account with the Edict Zero name began following me. I have no idea who is behind this account. I haven’t conversed with them and I haven’t been offered anything in return for this review.

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